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Brazil | Nearly 29 tons of shark fins seized in record-setting bust

Brazilian authorities announced the seizure of almost 29 tons of shark fins this month, exposing the extent of what they described as illegal fishing in the country. It was apparently the world’s largest confiscation in history: The largest previous seizure reportedly took place in Hong Kong in 2020, when authorities confiscated 28 tons of fins.

The seized fins were reportedly destined for illegal export to Asia, where they are used to make shark fin soup, a delicacy. They came from an estimated 10,000 blue (Prionace glauca) and anequim or shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) sharks, Brazil’s federal environmental agency IBAMA said in a news release. Shortfin mako sharks joined the country’s list of endangered species in May, whereas blue sharks are under consideration for inclusion. Internationally, shortfin makos are listed as endangered and blue sharks as near threatened by the IUCN.

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